It is an interesting time for the Indian Automotive Industry. The pre-GST offers from big German brands like Audi, Mercedes, BMW have made it to the advertising sites, General Motors has decided to take an exit from the Indian market due to lack of demand. On the other hand, Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced plans of localisation in order to cater to its increasing customer base.
Talking about Volvo’s plans of expansion in the Indian market, Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars said, “I am pleased that as of this year we will be able to start selling Volvos that are Made in India,”. “Starting vehicle assembly in India is an important step for Volvo Cars as we aim to grow our sales in this fast-growing market and double our market share in the premium segment in coming years.” The plant and the assembly will be set up near Bengaluru and will mainly be producing SPA (Volvo’s vehicle architecture) based vehicles and Volvo’s premium XC90 is expected to roll of the floors as the first vehicle. The main production plans for Volvo internationally are located in Sweden, Belgium, Chengdu and Daqing in China. The Engine blocks are mostly built in Sweden and China. Once Volvo starts production in India, the prices are expected to go down considerably which will make them even more competitive in the Indian market.
Everything looks good and under control for the Swedish carmaker but thinks haven’t been on track for the American auto giant. Due to poor sales, General Motors has decided to pull the plug for Chevrolet in India. Earlier, the company had announced plans of expansion into the Indian market by the launch two new cars the Beat facelift and the Essentia which were showcased last year at the Indian Auto Expo. The Beat Facelift was supposed to launch in 2017
The company had already put a seal to its Halol manufacturing plant last month and will now only focus on exporting to other markets from its Talegaon manufacturing facility. Stefan Jacoby, GM executive vice president and president of GM International, said, “We explored many options, but determined the increased investment originally planned for India would not deliver the returns of other significant global opportunities. It would also not help us achieve a leadership position or compelling, long-term profitability in the domestic market. Difficult as it has been to reach this decision, it is the right outcome to support our global strategy and deliver appropriate returns for our shareholders.” Chevrolet promises to continue to honour its guarantee and warranty services to its customers and dealers. The Chevrolet India website continues to sport a banner which says that the carmaker would continue to honour its guarantees till the end of this year but buying a new Chevrolet product right now isn’t the wisest thing to do right now!
The Indian automotive market though big in sales figures still remains dominant by a couple of players and will remain to be a challenge for non-indigenous brands.
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